Day of the Wombat

This was supposed to be posted 2 days ago.  Guess I was more under the weather than I thought.  Enjoy!

I’m trying to get inspired today.  Outside, it pours.  It floods.  It’s very, very wet. Inside, it’s calm and dry. But not particularly motivating.

I thought I’d take a look at what happened in history on this day, October 22.  You might be surprised.

First, a little background.  October 22 is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 70 days remaining until the end of the year. Better get to work on those 2014 resolutions, folks.

According to the Wikipedian whippersnappers:

In 451, the Chalcedon Council adopted the Chalcedon Creed, affirming both the humanity and divinity of Christ.

In 1746, the College of New Jersey (better known as Princeton), received its charter.

In 1797, André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump from one thousand meters (3,200 feet) above Paris. Sidenote:  Anything to do with Paris, I’m in. But you know this.

In 1844, The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ. The following day became known as the Great Disappointment. I’ll bet. They say those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes.  Again and again, it seems.

In 1879, Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out).

In 1924, Toastmasters International is founded. I found this particularly inspiring, since the Great Depression raged on during this decade. 

In 1926, J. Gordon Whitehead sucker punches magician Harry Houdini in the stomach in Montreal, precipitating his death. Ouch!

In 1942, Annette Funicello, American actress and singer, was born (d. 2013). Future Mickey Mouse clubber!

In 1943, Catherine Deneuve, French actress and singer, was born. Ooh la la!

In 1962, Cuban missile crisis: US President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announces that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval “quarantine” of the Communist nation. And so it begins…

In 1964, TobyMac, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor (DC Talk and The Gotee Brothers), was born.

In 1966, The Supremes become the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A’ Go-Go). I am woman, hear me roar…eh, never mind.

In 1978, Papal inauguration of Pope John Paul II.

In 1999, Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, is jailed for crimes against humanity. Better late than never. Wait, how old *was *this guy?!

After citing all these historically significant events, let’s not forget it’s National Wombat Day.  Inaugurated in 2005, the Australians had all but obliterated these “vermin” from their lives. They’re now endangered in most of Australia.

wombatCute, huh?  Turns out Aussies didn’t like wombats burrowing on their property and classified them as vermin, sort of like enormous moles.  Here’s more:

In general, Australian culture does not regard the wombat highly and it certainly has nothing like the cultural significance of other native animals such as the koala, kangaroo or the dingo.

In general, wombats are seen by many as being fat, slow, lazy animals, and are often mocked. Particularly common wombats are considered by some farmers as a nuisance due primarily to their burrowing behaviour. These things are reflected in many of their cultural depictions and also reflective of conservation efforts. A notable example is the tongue in cheek “unofficial” mascot of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, “Fatso the Fat-Arsed Wombat“. Despite this the wombat is endeared by some and noted for its toughness and fearlessness, qualities regarded by many as Australian. No professional Australian sporting teams have adopted the wombat as a mascot.

Since 2005, an unofficial holiday called Wombat Day has been observed on 22 October.

Every day has something worth celebrating, even today. We can move forward with joy and purpose. Let’s make it official.  What starts out as a nuisance, like rain and wombats, can be something to smile about. Happy Wombat Day!

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

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